C - Ki Abilities
Gokuu can do more than punch his opponents. One of the hallmarks of the Dragon
Ball world is the characters' ability to utilize "Ki attacks", the body's
ability to channel energy into damaging blasts of heat, light, etc. Gokuu is
no exception to this, although he has been seriously downgraded in the games'
terms - he starts off with only 1 Ki attack, and has to learn the others by
completing tasks as the game progresses. Each Ki attack has varying levels of
strength, depending on how long you hold down the B BUTTON before releasing the
attack. Let's talk about each attack individually, as well as where you get
########## Ki Blast ##########
Gokuu's starting Ki ability is the Ki blast, a single ball of Ki energy that is
hurled in a horizontal line along the directon Gokuu is facing. The attack
itself has several levels of power, the level being determined by how long you
hold the B BUTTON down. A Weaker Ki Blast is a puny ball of energy that
quickly fizzles out a short distance from Gokuu's body, and does paltry damage;
I would not suggest using this often, as having a projectile attack with little
damage and practically no range is a little detrimental to Gokuu's fighting
ability. A Medium-sized Ball travels a good distance further and does moderate
damage, roughly 2/3rds as much as one of Gokuu's punches. The Strongest,
Largest Ki Blast will continue travelling indefinitely, and hits about as hard
as one of Gokuu's Punches. At weaker levels, though, Gokuu has to put more
energy (i.e., more of his Ki Bar) into this attack to make it hit the higher
levels of power; once Gokuu hits a high enough level, Gokuu will become
proficient enough with the attack to not even bother with the Medium-sized ball
(although the Weak blast can still be used, if you put absolutely no effort
into the attack).
As with Gokuu's Kamehame-Ha, this attack grows in strength along with Gokuu's
level. However, the attack cannot do any more damage than a certain set level
- meaning no matter how much energy you puut in the attack (past a certain
point), it will not do any more damage. Therefore, it does you absolutely no
good to power up a Ki Blast with all the energy in your Ki Bar, since most of
that bar will be wasted on an attack that could have done the same amount of
damage with less energy behind it. Still, having a fairly-damaging projectile
is quite nice, especially against pesky enemies that won't stay away.
WHEN/HOW DO YOU GET THIS: Gokuu starts with it.
########## Taiyo-Ken/Solar Flare ##########
Learning Japanese: the attack "Taiyo-Ken" is the correct title of the Solar
Flare attack. The word "Taiyo" means sun, while the word "Ken" commonly means "Attack" - thus, the title "Sun Attack" would be most accurate, while Solar
Flare is close enough. Technically, though, Solar Flare would be "Taiyo no
furea" (the romanization of "Flare" being necessary).
The 2nd Ki Ability Gokuu learns, and (in my opinion) the most effective, is the
Taiyo-Ken/Solar Flare ability. Although it goes against my principles (that
being to use the original, CORRECT name), I shall endeavor to refer to the move
only as "Solar Flare" so as to not confuse anyone. This attack is fairly
straightforward - Gokuu charges up a ball of energy, then releases it as a
flash of light. After doing so, all enemies (even those off-screen) will be
stunned for a short while, allowing Gokuu to attack them or flee at his
leisure. The amount of time each enemy is stunned depends on how much energy
Gokuu puts into the Solar Flare attack.
The reason I consider this to be Gokuu's most effective Ki ability is because
he can use it to escape from enemies, or simply wail on them with moderate
safety the entire time. Since most enemies will stay a certain distance before
moving in to attack Gokuu, you have a window of opportunity to charge up a
quick blast, stun your opponent, and then either get away or attack them.
Since the Solar Flare attack also works on bosses, you are free to charge up a
blast, move in and punch a few times, then still move to a far-enough distance
to charge another blast up. It's almost pathetic how easy the game becomes
when you learn this attack, since you really don't require any other abilities
besides this (and Gokuu's punch, of course).
One thing that I find irritating about this attack, however, is that the length
of time your enemies remain stunned does not change depending on your level.
Enemies will always remain stunned the same amount of time for the same amount
of Ki used, ALWAYS. Also, there is a small amount of downtime between uses, so
you actually have to wait a few moments before you can throw out another Solar
Flare. It may seem unfair, but it does stop enemies from throwing Ki Blasts
when you use it!
WHEN/WHERE DO YOU GET THIS: Upon aiding the various townsfolk in the Forest
Village and returning the Old Man's cat, you will be taught this attack by
the Old Man himself. Just how the Old Man knows this attack is beyond me...
########## Kamehame-Ha ##########
Gokuu's last Ki Ability to learn is the fabled Kamehame-Ha, a powerful Ki blast
that took Kamesennin Mutenroshi (aka Master Roshi) 50 years to devise. In the
series (and manga), Gokuu was able to learn the attack simply by watching Roshi
perform the attack, but for some odd reason Gokuu doesn't know it in the game
until roughly 2/5ths through. Strange.
The Kamehame-Ha is like the Ki Blast in design - it is a beam of energy that
travels horizontally in the direction Gokuu is facing, and can power up to a
more powerful version by holding down the B BUTTON longer. As with the Ki
Blast, the Kamehame-Ha has 4 levels of damage - weak, medium, strong, and "Gokuu starts yelling, it's so darn powerful" - the difference between the
attacks being how much damage the attack does and how wide it is. The
Kamehame-Ha, pound for pound, is much more damaging that Gokuu's fists OR the
Ki blast, so if you need to do a lot of damage in a pinch, this is the way to
go. Plus, it's neat to hear Gokuu yelling "Kamehame-HA!!!" in the game when
you power it up to its srongest level.
Unfortunately, the Kamehame-Ha does not have nearly the same range as the Ki
Blast. In each phase (weak, medium, strong), the attack will only travel
across a small portion of the screen. Thus, your enemies have to be moderately
close to Gokuu if he is to hit them. This is perfectly fine if you wish to use
the attack in conjunction with his Solar Flare attack, but by itself you are
lookin' to hurt yourself.
WHEN/WHERE DO YOU GET THIS: After completing King Kai's training, he teaches
Gokuu this attack. Strange, since Gokuu was supposed to have learned the
attack years before this...and why doesn't King Kai teach Gokuu how to use
Kai-ou Ken or how to make the Genki Tama? Eh? Eh?